Text: S.661 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (02/16/2007)


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[Congressional Bills 110th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[S. 661 Introduced in Senate (IS)]







110th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                 S. 661

     To establish kinship navigator programs, to establish kinship 
 guardianship assistance payments for children, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                           February 16, 2007

 Mr. Reid (for Mrs. Clinton (for herself, Ms. Snowe, and Mr. Cochran)) 
introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the 
                          Committee on Finance

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
     To establish kinship navigator programs, to establish kinship 
 guardianship assistance payments for children, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Kinship Caregiver Support Act''.

                   TITLE I--KINSHIP NAVIGATOR PROGRAM

SEC. 101. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds the following:
            (1) The 2000 decennial census states that--
                    (A) more that 4,500,000 children in the United 
                States are living in grandparent-headed households, a 
                30 percent increase from 1990 to 2000; and
                    (B) an additional 1,500,000 children in the United 
                States are living in households headed by other 
                relatives.
            (2) In the 2000 decennial census, over 2,400,000 
        grandparents reported that they were primarily responsible for 
        meeting the basic needs of their grandchildren, and parents 
        were not present in about \1/3\ of the families involved.
            (3) According to the 2000 decennial census, almost \1/5\ of 
        grandparents responsible for their grandchildren live in 
        poverty.
            (4) Kinship caregivers (as defined in section 103) often 
        face a variety of unnecessary barriers, including difficulties 
        enrolling children in school, authorizing medical treatment, 
        maintaining public housing leases, obtaining affordable legal 
        services, obtaining custody of children or otherwise achieving 
        permanency for children in their care, and accessing a variety 
        of Federal benefits and services.
            (5) Kinship caregivers can help to keep children from 
        entering the foster care system, and provide safe and permanent 
        homes, but need services and supports to do so. They need 
        better access to health insurance, respite care, child care, 
        special education, housing, and other benefits.
            (6) Surveys and research on the needs of kinship caregivers 
        report that one of their greatest challenges in raising 
        children is getting accurate information about--
                    (A) the benefits and services that are available to 
                their families, such as health and mental health care, 
                assistance provided under the program of block grants 
                to States for temporary assistance for needy families 
                established under part A of title IV of the Social 
                Security Act (42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), kinship or foster 
                care, kinship assistance and adoption assistance, child 
                care and early education, special education, and other 
                services for children with disabilities; and
                    (B) the legal authority, responsibilities, and 
                rights of kinship caregivers.
            (7) Funding for kinship navigator programs can--
                    (A) help kinship care families better use existing 
                programs and services; and
                    (B) increase the capacity of public and private 
                not-for-profit agencies, including community-based and 
                faith-based agencies, and including agencies carrying 
                out related Federal programs, such as the National 
                Family Caregiver Support Program under part E of title 
                III of the Older Americans Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 3030s 
                et seq.), to better serve the needs of kinship care 
                families.

SEC. 102. PURPOSE.

    The purposes of this Act are--
            (1) to establish kinship navigator programs in States, 
        large metropolitan areas, and tribal areas to assist kinship 
        caregivers in navigating their way through programs and 
        services, to help the caregivers learn about and obtain 
        assistance to meet the needs of the children they are raising 
        and their own needs; and
            (2) to promote effective partnerships among public and 
        private not-for-profit agencies, including community-based and 
        faith-based agencies, to help the agencies described in this 
        paragraph more effectively and efficiently serve kinship care 
        families and address the fragmentation that creates barriers to 
        meeting the needs of those families.

SEC. 103. DEFINITIONS.

    In this title:
            (1) Assistant secretary.--The term ``Assistant Secretary'' 
        means the Assistant Secretary for Children and Families of the 
        Department of Health and Human Services.
            (2) Kinship care family.--The term ``kinship care family'' 
        means a family with a kinship caregiver.
            (3) Kinship caregiver.--The term ``kinship caregiver'' 
        means a grandparent or stepgrandparent of a child, or a 
        relative of a child by blood, marriage, or adoption, who--
                    (A) lives with the child;
                    (B) is the primary caregiver of the child because 
                the biological or adoptive parent of the child is 
                unable or unwilling to serve as the primary caregiver 
                of the child; and
                    (C) has a legal relationship to the child or is 
                raising the child informally.
            (4) Large metropolitan area.--The term ``large metropolitan 
        area'' means a metropolitan statistical area, as defined by the 
        Bureau of the Census, with a population of not less than 
        1,000,000.
            (5) Metropolitan agency.--The term ``metropolitan agency'' 
        means an agency serving a large metropolitan area, or a county 
        or political subdivision of a large metropolitan area.
            (6) State.--The term ``State'' means any of the several 
        States, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands of the 
        United States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American 
        Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
            (7) Tribal area.--The term ``tribal area'' means the area 
        served by a tribal organization.
            (8) Tribal organization.--The term ``tribal 
        organization''--
                    (A) means a tribal organization, as defined in 
                section 658P of the Child Care and Development Block 
                Grant Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 9858n); and
                    (B) includes a consortium of tribal organizations 
                described in subparagraph (A).

SEC. 104. GRANTS.

    (a) In General.--The Assistant Secretary may make grants to 
eligible entities to pay for the Federal share of the cost of carrying 
out kinship navigator programs.
    (b) Eligible Entities.--To be eligible to receive a grant under 
this section, an entity shall be a State agency, metropolitan agency, 
or tribal organization, with experience in--
            (1) addressing the needs of kinship caregivers or children; 
        and
            (2) connecting the children or caregivers with appropriate 
        services and assistance, such as services and assistance 
        provided by--
                    (A) an area agency on aging under the Older 
                Americans Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 3001 et seq.); or
                    (B) an agency with jurisdiction over child welfare, 
                income-based financial assistance, human services, or 
                health matters, or a public entity that links family 
                resource and support programs, for the State, large 
                metropolitan area, or Indian tribe involved.
    (c) Allocation of Grants.--Of the funds made available for grants 
under this section for each fiscal year, the Assistant Secretary shall 
use not less than 50 percent to make grants to State agencies.
    (d) Duration of the Grants.--In making the grants, the Assistant 
Secretary shall make grants--
            (1) in fiscal year 2008, for periods of 3 years;
            (2) in fiscal year 2009, for periods of 2 years; and
            (3) in fiscal year 2010, for periods of 1 year.

SEC. 105. FEDERAL SHARE.

    (a) In General.--The Federal share of the cost of carrying out a 
kinship navigator program under a grant shall be--
            (1) 100 percent in the first year of the grant period;
            (2) 75 percent in the second year (if any) of the grant 
        period; and
            (3) 50 percent in the third year (if any) of the grant 
        period.
    (b) Non-Federal Share.--The non-Federal share of the cost may be 
provided in cash. Not more than 50 percent of the non-Federal share of 
the cost may be provided in kind, fairly evaluated, including plant, 
equipment, or services.

SEC. 106. APPLICATIONS.

    (a) In General.--To be eligible to receive a grant under this 
title, an entity shall submit an application to the Assistant Secretary 
at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the 
Assistant Secretary may require, including, at a minimum, the 
information described in subsection (b).
    (b) Contents.--The application shall include the following:
            (1) A description of the steps the entity will take during 
        the first 6 months of the grant period to--
                    (A) identify gaps in services for kinship care 
                families in the State, large metropolitan area, or 
                tribal area to be served and the specific activities 
                that are needed to bridge the gaps;
                    (B) convene a group of partners to assist in the 
                operation of the kinship navigator program funded 
                through the grant;
                    (C) utilize or develop relevant technology;
                    (D) conduct outreach to kinship caregivers about 
                the kinship navigator program; and
                    (E) develop a plan for reaching kinship caregivers, 
                ensuring that the caregivers can access the kinship 
                navigator program, and following up to ensure that the 
                caregivers actually receive necessary services and 
                supports.
            (2) An assurance that the entity will provide at least the 
        core activities specified in paragraphs (1) and (2) of section 
        107(b) for kinship care families through the kinship navigator 
        program.
            (3) A description of the activities the entity expects to 
        offer over the grant period and the entity's initial projection 
        of the number of children and kinship caregivers likely to be 
        served.
            (4) A description of how the entity will involve in the 
        planning and operation of the kinship navigator program, on an 
        ongoing basis--
                    (A) kinship caregivers;
                    (B) youth raised or being raised by kinship 
                caregivers;
                    (C) representatives of kinship care support 
                organizations;
                    (D) relevant government agencies (including 
                agencies with jurisdiction over matters relating to 
                aging, mental health, mental retardation or 
                developmental disabilities, substance abuse treatment, 
                criminal justice, health, youth services, human 
                services, education, income-based financial assistance, 
                child welfare, child custody, guardianship, adoption, 
                or child support enforcement);
                    (E)(i) not-for-profit service providers, including 
                community-based and faith-based agencies; and
                    (ii) educational institutions; and
                    (F) other State or local agencies or systems that 
                promote service coordination or provide information and 
                referral services, including the entities that provide 
                the 2-1-1 or 3-1-1 information systems where 
                applicable.
            (5) A description of--
                    (A) how the entity will coordinate its activities 
                with other State or local agencies or systems that 
                promote service coordination or provide information and 
                referral services for children, families, or older 
                individuals, including the entities that provide the 2-
                1-1 or 3-1-1 information systems where applicable, so 
                as to avoid duplication of services and the 
                fragmentation of services that prevents kinship care 
                families from getting the help the families need; and
                    (B) how the entity will encourage regional 
                cooperation among agencies, particularly agencies 
                serving border communities that may cross 
                jurisdictional lines, to ensure that kinship care 
                families will get help.
            (6) An assurance that the entity will report at least 
        annually to the Assistant Secretary, in a manner prescribed by 
        the Assistant Secretary, to ensure comparability of data across 
        States, on--
                    (A) activities established with the funds made 
                available through grants made under this title;
                    (B) the numbers and ages of the children and 
                caregivers assisted through the grants;
                    (C) the types of the assistance provided;
                    (D) the outcomes achieved with the assistance; and
                    (E) the barriers identified to meeting the needs of 
                kinship care families and plans for addressing the 
                barriers.
            (7) An assurance that the entity, not later than 3 months 
        after the end of the final year of the grant period, will 
        submit a final report to the Administration for Children and 
        Families that describes--
                    (A) the numbers and ages of the children and 
                caregivers assisted through the grants;
                    (B) the types of assistance provided;
                    (C) the outcomes achieved with the assistance;
                    (D) the barriers to meeting the needs of kinship 
                care families that were addressed through the grants;
                    (E) the plans of the entity to continue the kinship 
                navigator program after the grant period has ended;
                    (F) lessons learned during the grant period; and
                    (G) recommendations about the considerations that 
                should be taken into account as the program carried out 
                under this title is expanded throughout the Nation.
    (c) Preference.--In awarding grants under this title, the Assistant 
Secretary shall give preference to agencies or organizations that can 
demonstrate that the agencies and organizations will offer the full 
array of activities described in section 107(b).

SEC. 107. USE OF GRANT FUNDS.

    (a) In General.--An entity that receives a grant under this title 
may use the funds made available through the grant directly, or through 
grants or contracts with other public or private not-for-profit 
agencies, including community-based or faith-based agencies, that have 
experience in connecting kinship caregivers with appropriate services 
and assistance.
    (b) Use of Funds.--An entity that receives a grant under this title 
may use the funds made available through the grant for activities that 
help to connect kinship caregivers with the services and assistance 
required to meet the needs of the children the caregivers are raising 
and their own needs, such as--
            (1) establishing and maintaining information and referral 
        systems that--
                    (A) assist, through toll free access that includes 
                access to a live operator, kinship caregivers, kinship 
                care service providers, kinship care support group 
                facilitators, and others to learn about and link to--
                            (i) local kinship care service providers, 
                        support groups, respite care programs, and 
                        special services for incarcerated parents;
                            (ii) eligibility and enrollment information 
                        for Federal, State, and local benefits, such 
                        as--
                                    (I) education (including preschool, 
                                elementary, secondary, postsecondary, 
                                and special education);
                                    (II) family support services, early 
                                intervention services, mental health 
                                services, substance abuse prevention 
                                and treatment services, services to 
                                address domestic violence problems, 
                                services to address HIV or AIDS, legal 
                                services, child support, housing 
                                assistance, and child care;
                                    (III) the disability insurance 
                                benefits program established under 
                                title II of the Social Security Act (42 
                                U.S.C. 401 et seq.);
                                    (IV) the program of block grants to 
                                States for temporary assistance for 
                                needy families established under part A 
                                of title IV of the Social Security Act 
                                (42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.);
                                    (V) the supplemental security 
                                income program established under title 
                                XVI of the Social Security Act (42 
                                U.S.C. 1381 et seq.);
                                    (VI) the medicaid program 
                                established under title XIX of the 
                                Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396 et 
                                seq.);
                                    (VII) the State children's health 
                                insurance program established under 
                                title XXI of the Social Security Act 
                                (42 U.S.C. 1397aa et seq.);
                                    (VIII) the program of Federal 
                                payments for foster care and adoption 
                                assistance established under part E of 
                                title IV of the Social Security Act (42 
                                U.S.C. 670 et seq.), including the 
                                program of kinship guardianship 
                                assistance payments for children 
                                established under section 472A of that 
                                Act; and
                                    (IX) the food stamp program 
                                established under the Food Stamp Act of 
                                1977 (7 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.);
                            (iii) relevant training to assist kinship 
                        caregivers in obtaining benefits and services 
                        and performing their caregiving activities; and
                            (iv) relevant legal assistance and help in 
                        obtaining access to legal services, including 
                        access to legal aid service providers and 
                        statewide elder law hotlines;
                    (B) provide outreach to kinship care families, in 
                collaboration with schools, pediatric care clinics, 
                kinship care organizations, senior citizen centers, 
                agencies with jurisdiction over child welfare or human 
                services, and others to link the families to the 
                kinship navigator program and to services and 
                assistance; and
                    (C) establish, distribute, and regularly update 
                kinship care resource guides, websites, or other 
                relevant outreach materials;
            (2) promoting partnerships between public and private not-
        for-profit agencies, including community-based and faith-based 
        agencies--
                    (A) to help the agencies described in this 
                paragraph more effectively and efficiently meet the 
                needs of kinship care families; and
                    (B) to familiarize the agencies about the special 
                needs of kinship care families, policies that affect 
                their eligibility for a range of education, health, 
                mental health, social, child care, and child welfare 
                services, income-based financial assistance, legal 
                assistance, and other services and benefits, and the 
                means for making policies more supportive of kinship 
                care families;
            (3) establishing and supporting a kinship care ombudsman 
        who has the authority to actively intervene with State agency 
        staff or service providers with which the State agency 
        contracts to help ensure, through various appropriate means 
        including working with individual families in an ongoing 
        manner, that kinship caregivers get the services they need and 
        for which they are eligible; and
            (4) supporting other activities that are designed to assist 
        kinship caregivers in obtaining benefits, services, and 
        activities designed to improve their caregiving.
    (c) Limitation.--Except as provided in subsection (b)(4), the 
entity may not use any of the funds made available through the grant 
for direct services to children in kinship care families or to kinship 
caregivers.

SEC. 108. ADMINISTRATION OF THE PROGRAM.

    In administering the program carried out under this title, the 
Assistant Secretary for Children and Families shall periodically 
consult with the Assistant Secretary for Aging of the Department of 
Health and Human Services.

SEC. 109. RESERVATION.

    The Assistant Secretary may reserve not more than 1 percent of the 
funds made available under this title for a fiscal year to provide 
technical assistance to the recipients of grants under this title 
related to the purposes of the grants.

SEC. 110. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this title 
$25,000,000 for fiscal year 2008, $50,000,000 for fiscal year 2009, and 
$75,000,000 for fiscal year 2010.

        TITLE II--SUBSIDIZED GUARDIANSHIP OPTION FOR TITLE IV-E

SEC. 201. KINSHIP GUARDIANSHIP ASSISTANCE PAYMENTS FOR CHILDREN.

    (a) In General.--Part E of title IV of the Social Security Act (42 
U.S.C. 670-679b) is amended by inserting after section 472 the 
following:

``SEC. 472A. KINSHIP GUARDIANSHIP ASSISTANCE PAYMENTS FOR CHILDREN.

    ``(a) In General.--Each State with a plan approved under this part 
may, at State option, enter into kinship guardianship assistance 
agreements to provide kinship guardianship assistance payments on 
behalf of children to grandparents and other relatives who have assumed 
legal guardianship (as defined in section 475(7)) of the children for 
whom they have cared as foster parents and for whom they have committed 
to care for on a permanent basis.
    ``(b) Kinship Guardianship Assistance Agreement.--
            ``(1) In general.--In order to receive payments under 
        section 474(a)(5), a State shall--
                    ``(A) negotiate and enter into a written kinship 
                guardianship assistance agreement with the prospective 
                relative guardian of a child who meets the requirements 
                of subsection (d);
                    ``(B) provide the prospective relative guardian 
                with a copy of the agreement; and
                    ``(C) certify that any child on whose behalf 
                kinship guardianship assistance payments are made under 
                such an agreement shall be provided medical assistance 
                under title XIX in accordance with section 
                1902(a)(10)(A)(i)(I).
            ``(2) Minimum requirements.--The agreement shall specify, 
        at a minimum--
                    ``(A) the amount of, and manner in which, each 
                kinship guardianship assistance payment, if any, will 
                be provided under the agreement;
                    ``(B) the additional services and assistance that 
                the child and relative guardian will be eligible for 
                under the agreement;
                    ``(C) the procedure by which the relative guardian 
                may apply for additional services as needed, provided 
                the agency and relative guardian agree on the 
                additional services as specified in the case plan; and
                    ``(D) subject to paragraph (4), that the State will 
                pay the nonrecurring expenses associated with obtaining 
                legal guardianship of the child.
            ``(3) Interstate application.--The agreement shall 
        provide--
                    ``(A) that the agreement shall remain in effect 
                without regard to the State residency of the relative 
                guardian; and
                    ``(B) for the protection (under an interstate 
                compact approved by the Secretary or otherwise) of the 
                interests of the child in any case where the relative 
                guardian and the child move to another State while the 
                agreement is in effect.
            ``(4) Nonrecurring expenses associated with obtaining legal 
        guardianship.--
                    ``(A) In general.--For purposes of paragraph 
                (2)(D), the term `nonrecurring expenses associated with 
                obtaining legal guardianship' includes the reasonable 
                and necessary fees, court costs, attorneys' fees, and 
                other expenses that are directly related to obtaining 
                legal guardianship of the child and which are not 
                incurred in violation of Federal or State law.
                    ``(B) Federal share.--A State's payment of the 
                nonrecurring expenses associated with obtaining legal 
                guardianship shall be treated as an expenditure made 
                for the proper and efficient administration of the 
                State plan under section 474(a)(3)(E).
    ``(c) Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment.--
            ``(1) Requirements.--
                    ``(A) In general.--The kinship guardianship 
                assistance payment shall be--
                            ``(i) negotiated as part of the kinship 
                        guardianship assistance agreement required 
                        under subsection (b)(1)(A) between the relative 
                        guardian and the State or local agency 
                        responsible for administering such agreement;
                            ``(ii) based on consideration of the 
                        circumstances and the needs of the relative 
                        guardian and of the child; and
                            ``(iii) equal to the amount of the foster 
                        care maintenance payment for which the child 
                        would have been eligible if the child had 
                        remained in foster care.
                    ``(B) Readjustment.--The kinship guardianship 
                assistance payment may be readjusted periodically, with 
                the concurrence of the relative guardian, based on 
                relevant changes in the needs of the relative guardian 
                and of the child.
            ``(2) Limitation.--
                    ``(A) In general.--Except as provided in 
                subparagraph (B), no kinship guardianship assistance 
                payment may be made to a relative guardian for any 
                child who has attained 18 years of age.
                    ``(B) Exceptions.--A kinship guardianship 
                assistance payment may be made to a relative guardian 
                with respect to a child who--
                            ``(i) is a full-time student in a secondary 
                        school or in the equivalent level of a 
                        vocational or technical training program and 
                        has not attained 19 years of age; or
                            ``(ii) with respect to a child who the 
                        State determines has a mental or physical 
                        disability that warrants the continuation of 
                        assistance until the child attains 21 years of 
                        age.
    ``(d) Child's Eligibility for a Kinship Guardianship Assistance 
Payment.--
            ``(1) In general.--A child is eligible for a kinship 
        guardianship assistance payment under this section if the State 
        agency determines the following:
                    ``(A) The child has been--
                            ``(i) removed from his or her home pursuant 
                        to a voluntary placement agreement or as a 
                        result of a judicial determination to the 
                        effect that continuation in the home would be 
                        contrary to the welfare of the child;
                            ``(ii) under the care of the State agency 
                        for the 12-month period ending on the date of 
                        the agency determination; and
                            ``(iii) eligible for foster care 
                        maintenance payments under section 472.
                    ``(B) Being returned home or adopted are not 
                appropriate permanency options for the child.
                    ``(C) The child demonstrates a strong attachment to 
                the prospective relative guardian and the relative 
                guardian has a strong commitment to caring permanently 
                for the child.
                    ``(D) With respect to a child who has attained 14 
                years of age, the child has been consulted regarding 
                the kinship guardianship arrangement.
            ``(2) Treatment of siblings.--With respect to a child 
        described in paragraph (1) whose sibling or siblings are not so 
        described--
                    ``(A) the child and any minor sibling of the child 
                may be placed in the same kinship guardianship 
                arrangement if the State agency and the relative agree 
                on the appropriateness of the arrangement for the 
                siblings; and
                    ``(B) kinship guardianship assistance payments may 
                be paid for the child and each sibling so placed.''.
    (b) Maintaining Eligibility for Adoption Assistance Program.--
Section 473(a) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 673(a)) is amended by adding at 
the end the following:
    ``(7) The adoptive parents of a child who has been determined by 
the State, pursuant to subsection (c), to be a child with special needs 
and on whose behalf kinship guardianship assistance payments have been 
made under section 472A shall be eligible for adoption assistance as if 
no kinship guardianship agreement or payments had been made. The State 
shall make payments of nonrecurring adoption expenses under this 
section to the adoptive parents of such a child. The State may make 
adoption assistance payments under this section even if the child fails 
to meet the requirements of subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (2), 
if the child would meet the requirements of such subparagraphs if the 
child were treated as if the child were in the same financial and other 
circumstances the child was in at the time the kinship guardianship 
assistance agreement was made.''
    (c) Expansion of Eligibility for Foster Care Independence 
Program.--Section 477(i)(2) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 
677(i)(2)) is amended by striking ``youths adopted from foster care 
after attaining age 16'' and inserting ``youths exiting from foster 
care to adoption or legal guardianship after attaining 16 years of 
age''.
    (d) Conforming Amendments.--
            (1) State plan requirement.--Section 471(a)(20)(A) of such 
        Act (42 U.S.C. 671(a)(20)) is amended, in the matter preceding 
        clause (i), by striking ``foster or adoptive parent before the 
        foster or adoptive parent may be finally approved for placement 
        of a child on whose behalf foster care maintenance payments or 
        adoption assistance payments'' and inserting ``foster parent, 
        adoptive parent, or relative guardian before the foster parent, 
        adoptive parent, or relative guardian may be finally approved 
        for placement of a child on whose behalf foster care 
        maintenance payments, adoption assistance payments, or kinship 
        guardianship assistance payments''.
            (2) Payments to states.--Section 474(a) of such Act (42 
        U.S.C. 674(a)) is amended--
                    (A) in paragraph (3)(B), by striking ``foster or 
                adoptive parents and the members of the staff of State-
                licensed or State-approved child care institutions 
                providing care to foster and adopted children receiving 
                assistance under this part, in ways that increase the 
                ability of such current or prospective parents, staff 
                members, and institutions to provide support and 
                assistance to foster and adopted children,'' and 
                inserting ``foster parents, adoptive parents, or 
                relative guardians and the members of the staff of 
                State-licensed or State-approved child care 
                institutions providing care to foster children, 
                adoptive children, or children living with a relative 
                guardian receiving assistance under this part, in ways 
                that increase the ability of such current or 
                prospective parents, relative guardians, staff members, 
                and institutions to provide support and assistance to 
                foster children, adoptive children, or children living 
                with a relative guardian,'';
                    (B) in paragraph (4)(B), by striking the period at 
                the end and inserting ``; plus''; and
                    (C) by adding at the end the following:
            ``(5) an amount equal to the Federal medical assistance 
        percentage (as defined in section 1905(b)) of the total amount 
        expended during such quarter as kinship guardianship assistance 
        payments under section 472A pursuant to kinship guardianship 
        assistance agreements.''.
            (3) Definitions.--Section 475(1) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 
        675(1)) is amended by adding at the end the following:
                    ``(F) In the case of a child with respect to whom 
                the permanency plan is placement with a relative and 
                receipt of kinship guardianship assistance payments 
                under section 472A, a description of--
                            ``(i) the steps that the agency has taken 
                        to determine that it is not appropriate for the 
                        child to be returned home or adopted;
                            ``(ii) the reasons why a permanent 
                        placement with a fit and willing relative 
                        through a kinship guardianship assistance 
                        arrangement is in the child's best interests;
                            ``(iii) the ways in which the child meets 
                        the eligibility requirements for a kinship 
                        guardianship assistance payment;
                            ``(iv) the efforts the agency has made to 
                        discuss adoption by the child's relative foster 
                        parent as a more permanent alternative to legal 
                        guardianship and, in the case of a relative 
                        foster parent who has chosen not to pursue 
                        adoption, documentation of the reasons 
                        therefor; and
                            ``(v) the efforts made by the State agency 
                        to secure the consent of the child's parent or 
                        parents to the kinship guardianship assistance 
                        arrangement, or the reasons why the efforts 
                        were not made.''.
    (e) Effective Date.--The amendments made by this section take 
effect on October 1, 2007.

SEC. 202. KINSHIP GUARDIANSHIP DEMONSTRATION PROJECTS.

    (a) Authority To Conduct Projects.--The Secretary shall enter into 
agreements with eligible entities to conduct demonstration projects for 
the purpose of providing kinship guardianship assistance payments on 
behalf of children to grandparents and other relatives who have assumed 
legal guardianship (as defined in section 475(7) of the Social Security 
Act (42 U.S.C. 675(7)) of the children for whom they have cared as 
foster parents and for whom they have committed to care for on a 
permanent basis in large metropolitan areas located in States that have 
not elected the option to provide kinship guardianship assistance 
payments for children under section 472A of the Social Security Act (as 
added by section 201).
    (b) Terms and Conditions.--The terms and conditions applicable to 
demonstration projects conducted under this section shall be 
consistent, to the extent the Secretary determines appropriate, with 
the terms and conditions applicable to the State option to provide 
kinship guardianship assistance payments for children under section 
472A of the Social Security Act.
    (c) Report.--Not later than October 1, 2009, and annually 
thereafter, the Secretary shall submit a report to Congress on the 
demonstration projects conducted under this section.
    (d) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be 
appropriated such sums as may be necessary to conduct demonstration 
projects under this section for fiscal years beginning with fiscal year 
2008.
    (e) Definitions.--In this section:
            (1) Eligible entity.--The term ``eligible entity'' means--
                    (A) a metropolitan agency, as defined in section 
                103(5); and
                    (B) any other entity that the Secretary determines 
                is qualified to conduct a demonstration project under 
                this section.
            (2) Large metropolitan area.--The term ``large metropolitan 
        area'' has the meaning given that term in section 103(4).
            (3) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
        of Health and Human Services.

           TITLE III--NOTICE OF CHILDREN ENTERING FOSTER CARE

SEC. 301. NOTICE TO RELATIVES WHEN CHILDREN ENTER FOSTER CARE.

    (a) In General.--Section 471(a)(19) of the Social Security Act 42 
U.S.C. 671(a)(19)) is amended--
            (1) by striking ``that the State'' and inserting ``that--
                    ``(A) the State'';
            (2) by adding ``and'' after the semicolon; and
            (3) by adding at the end the following:
                    ``(B) within 60 days of the removal of the child 
                from the custody of the child's parent or parents, the 
                State shall identify and give notice to all adult 
                grandparents and other adult relatives of the child 
                (including any other adult relatives suggested by the 
                parents), subject to exceptions due to family or 
                domestic violence, that--
                            ``(i) specifies that the child has been or 
                        is being removed from the custody of the 
                        child's parent or parents; and
                            ``(ii) explains the options the relative 
                        has under Federal, State, and local law to 
                        participate in the child's care and placement, 
                        including any options that may be lost by 
                        failing to respond to the notice;''.
    (b) Effective Date.--The amendments made by this section take 
effect on October 1, 2007.

SEC. 302. FLEXIBILITY TO ESTABLISH SEPARATE STANDARDS FOR RELATIVE 
              FOSTER FAMILY HOMES.

    (a) In General.--Section 471(a)(10) of the Social Security Act (42 
U.S.C. 671(a)(10)) is amended--
            (1) by striking ``which shall be responsible'' and 
        inserting ``which--
                    ``(A) shall be responsible'';
            (2) by inserting ``and'' after the semicolon; and
            (3) by adding at the end the following:
                    ``(B) may--
                            ``(i) establish and maintain separate 
                        standards for foster family homes in which a 
                        foster parent is a relative of the foster child 
                        that, at a minimum, protect the safety of the 
                        child and provide for criminal records checks, 
                        as described in paragraph (20); and
                            ``(ii) apply the standards referred to in 
                        clause (i) to any such relative foster care 
                        provider to whom funds are paid pursuant to 
                        section 472 or part B in lieu of the standards 
                        that would otherwise apply to a foster family 
                        home;''.
    (b) Effective Date.--The amendments made by this section take 
effect on October 1, 2007.
                                 <all>